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Everyone thinks we have the perfect marriage but I want a man who makes me feel adored.

(24 Posts)
changeintheweather Thu 29-Oct-15 12:38:14

I have started to feel dissatisfied with my marriage. On the surface it looks perfect. DH works hard and looks after me and our 2 dc in a very practical way. He is very concerned about us and always makes sure we are safe. However, he really struggles with the emotional side of things. I know people show love in different ways and his is a practical demonstration, but I feel a bit whole in our relationship. The only time he has ever shown his love for me in an emotional way was when I was chatted up by another man. He got extremely upset and said it was a wakeup call for how lucky he was. He was a lot more demonstrative for a few days but since then that soon stopped. I have told him I want more affection quite a few times - he gets defensive and denies it and nothing changes. Any advice would be welcome as I have started looking at other men and wondering ....

Offred Thu 29-Oct-15 12:41:18

Don't play these jealousy games. He doesn't provide what you need. You are not compatible because how he shows love isn't how you need to see love. The kindest thing is to break up before you start messing around with other men.

QforCucumber Thu 29-Oct-15 12:43:05

hmm, personal opinion is that the grass always seems greener.

My DP isn't emotional really, never surprises me, doesn't do the whole hearts and flowers, extravagant gifts etc that my friends DP would do for her.

I would point this out now and then in a jealous strop, until he reminded me that at least once a month they'd break up, she would call me crying weekly after arguments they'd had over him doing drugs, and their relationship came to a head when he threw her down the stairs.

QforCucumber Thu 29-Oct-15 12:43:56

What I'm trying to say is that everyones idea of perfect is different, has he always been this way?

BolshierAryaStark Thu 29-Oct-15 12:46:20

Perhaps you should focus more on his good points rather than thinking the grass is greener. He sounds like a decent man, why don't you have a read through some of the other threads on here written by those who unfortunately don't have a partner of that variety.

BabyGanoush Thu 29-Oct-15 12:48:10

Sounds like you have the love of a good man, and don't appreciate it?

Viewofhedges Thu 29-Oct-15 12:49:45

Do you show him that you love him? Cups of tea in bed, a 'you look lovely in that shirt', gestures like that - could you try showing HIM how you'd like to be treated and see if he can learn to reflect them?

Also you do say in your post that he does show his love in a practical way. So be glad when you see it. My DH shows his by doing things like mending my bike and bringing me tea in bed and when I stop to think about what it means, it's lovely. You say that your DH does a lot for you and your kids and that's a lot to risk losing if you know he's just not good at words and flowers.

I would really concentrate on showing HIM some small gestures of affection, and give him what you'd like to get in return.

ijustwannadance Thu 29-Oct-15 12:50:50

Just because he doesn't get emotional it doesn't mean he doesn't love you less. You want all the stuff that is just for show.

Muddlewitch Thu 29-Oct-15 12:53:10

I agree with Cucumber, everyone's idea of perfect is different. Are you affectionate towards him, and if so how does he respond?

For what it is worth every man I have known that has been very affectionate and overly physically demonstrative has turned out to be a possessive knob.

BloodontheTracks Thu 29-Oct-15 12:54:16

If you are downplaying your attraction to one other particularly person then you shouldn't. You'll get better advice if you're completely honest. Often when someone is engaged in even just an emotional affair with another they begin to project onto their long term partner a lack of affection, cherishing and attention. Even when this is true, it is often a solvable problem that could be addressed by good counselling. Beware thinking that another man is the key to adoration. Relationships tend to go the same way, with whomever, towards reality.

If your partner has trouble showing affection and that is a display issue. If it upsets you, tell him so and say you want to address it in counselling. If your partner FEELS little affection for you that is different.

Wanting to be constantly adored in a long term relationship is unhealthy and unrealistic. (I'm not saying loved, I'm saying adored which I think of as different)

Offred Thu 29-Oct-15 12:57:36

Why should anyone stay in a relationship with anyone just because they are nice and other people have it worse?

Perfectly lovely people can be incompatible. If the op needs someone demonstrative and her h is not demonstrative that isn't a resolvable problem really.

flustercuck Thu 29-Oct-15 12:58:10

Unless my DH has had a good few lemonades he's never that emotional or lovey-dovey.

That suits me.

My ex was very demonstrative, turned out not only with me.

BloodontheTracks Thu 29-Oct-15 13:13:27

It's really hard to know the difference between a natural yearning in a good relationship and a problem that won't resolve that is defining for you. For example, people often find they alternate roles in relationships. I.e they leave someone who is not demonstrative with affection to be with someone who really is, but find they then turn into the one accused of witholding affection and they are the ones that feel smothered and nagged because the other person is much needier and demanding than they are. Often people find themselves becoming the partner they just left in their last relationship.

That's not to say that's always the case, and also sometimes it suits you BETTER to be the slightly more affection withholding partner, that's the right balance for you. But think hard about what's the most important quality to you in a relationship, whether that's there. It's always interesting to me when people post exclusively about their partner's faults and failings, because in almost all non-abusive relationships this is a dynamic, going on between you both, and you kind of need to see and understand what you get out of being in a relationship like this. What does 'show his love in an emotional way' MEAN? Are you just talking about verbal and physically affection? And what does physically affectionate mean? Are you having sex? Is that expressing love, for him? How do you communicate generally? Is he able to talk about his feelings generally, but not when it comes to you? Or is he all round emotionally repressed? There's a lot to take apart here and you need to shift the focus from him and look at the relationship as a whole a bit more. Plus be honest and specific about this looking elsewhere. Adoration comes from affairs, not particular people. It's situational, not individual.

Jan45 Thu 29-Oct-15 13:41:27

To feel content in a relationship most of us require attention, not just someone who provides practicalities, that could be anyone.

If he is not willing to improve relations with you then I'm not quite sure why you should carry on feeling dissatisfied.

Making time and kind gestures for each other is what keeps the relationship alive and instils passion without that, what really have you got, a friend who happens to be the father of your children; I wouldn't be willing to spend the rest of my life in a loveless marriage.

changeintheweather Thu 29-Oct-15 13:48:37

Thanks for all the great advice. It has given me lots to think about. I think he thinks that by fixing something, or doing something practical he is showing me love but I am just not feeling it. We do have sex regularly but there is no affectionate build up to it and I have to use my imagination a lot to get in the mood.

Jan45 Thu 29-Oct-15 15:47:54

I don't base the love my partner has for me on what he fixes in the house, it's in his affection towards me and yes we both still adore each other.

Some men are emotionally stunted and unless they make an effort to show their feelings it can end the relationship.

Sounds like you are making do rather than feeling the benefits of a healthy affectionate relationship, nothing wrong in wanting that - it's normal.

MatildaTheCat Thu 29-Oct-15 16:12:31

A lot of men are like this. Much more use than someone who flatters and reads romantic poems but can't load the dishwasher or support his family.

Think of it like this: how would you like it if your dh went on a forum and said he wanted his wife to change in a fundamental way? Become something she is not? No? I wouldn't like it either.

And my dh is very much like yours.mi knew that before I married him. smile

goddessofsmallthings Thu 29-Oct-15 16:23:28

Many women would give their eye-teeth for a hard working reliable dh who shows his love for his dw and dc in practical ways and always makes sure they're safe.

Is there any reason why you don't intiate 'the affectionate build up'?

Jan45 Thu 29-Oct-15 16:46:09

Surely supporting your family is normal, it's not a bonus fgs.

Telling the OP she should be happy with her lot is like telling a depressed person to snap out of it.

Lack of affection in a relationship is serious, it's not a case of oh well I will go without any kindness, love or affection cos after all he fixed the shed the other week, are we meant to be happy for small mercies, not all men are like this btw.

The OP has told him how she feels, he does sod all about it, this is exactly how affairs start too.

goddessofsmallthings Thu 29-Oct-15 17:11:14

So how was he before you married him, OP? Strong silent and dependable, or all over you like a rash?

Does he talk to you, as in coming home from work and telling you about his day and initiating conversations about all sorts other than mundane 'domestic' stuff? Or does he tend to monosyllabic?

Do you cuddle up on the sofa with him to watch tv or listen to music in the evening? Or are you engaged in individual projects?

How much 'quality time' do you spend with each other? Do you have date nights and occasional weekends away?

pallasathena Thu 29-Oct-15 19:13:56

Why does the phrase 'First world problem,' keep popping into my head here?

blueshoes Thu 29-Oct-15 19:31:29

Is he more affectionate and intimate during sex? Some men find it easier to express their love during sex.

BloodontheTracks Thu 29-Oct-15 19:39:05

Okay, OP so what you seem to be saying is that the way you give and receive love is essentially different. You could be more detailed here, what would he say if asked about this? Not by you, by someone else he felt he could be honest with? Because it sounds to me like you are saying, I want a bit of romance, passion and external shows of affection towards me. That's okay but have you read Esther Perel's stuff on monogamy? That might be useful here. Almost all long-term relationships go through a bit of this. What has changed recently that means you feel pushed to a limit? It doesn't sound like he is the one that has changed?

I'm afraid I DO think it's telling the word adoration was used originally rather than love or respect or even affection. I know we all project a little here but there's a difference between a poster saying 'I just want my partner to show me a little affection' which is totally reasonable, and someone saying 'Everyone thinks we have the perfect marriage but I want to be with a man who makes me feel adored'. There's an undercurrent of secrecy here, (everyone thinks...but really...) 'I want to be with a man' (another man, not, I wish that my husband would....) and 'makes me feel adored' (this isn't a longing for scraps for affection or even mutual love, it's self-focused and solipsistic in a very particular way.)

OP, I get you need to think about some of the things said here but I'd suggest if you do come back you come back with a bit more info. I get the feeling there may be a bit more going on with you and it's in the dot dot dot.

BabyGanoush Thu 29-Oct-15 21:33:33

Blood, that is exactly it

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